Developers can create old-school ASP pages with any scripting language that contains an ActiveX Scripting Engine. Such languages include VBScript and JScript from Microsoft, PerlScript from ActiveState, and Python. (For more information on creating ASP pages with various scripting languages, check out an earlier FAQ, ASP's Server-Side Languages!)
With ASP+, compiled languages are used in place of scripting languages. This leads to enhanced performance since visited compiled Web pages don't need to be reinterpretted like scripted Web pages. However, with the change in using compiled langauges instead of scripting languages, developers can no longer use VBScript! Instead, developers will now use VB 7, the latest version of VisualBasic, which contains some subtle (and some not so subtle) changes from VB 6 and VBScript.
As Scott Guthrie (one of the head developers for ASP+) noted on the ASP+ ListServ @ ASPLists.com:
"Note that ASP+ -- like ASP -- still defaults to "VB" as your language unless you specify another one. ... ASP+ now allows you to use any language you want to program pages/services/components.
"We will have three languages supported out of the box -- VB, C# and JScript. We will also have approximately 19 other languages ready in the next month or two that will be supported by other companies. These languages include: Cobol, Perl, Python, Eiffel, SmallTalk, Lisp, Scheme, Objective Camel, etc.
"From a development standpoint, it really makes sense to pick a language that you feel most comfortable with -- and then really become a master at programming with it. The great thing is that we now have a common runtime/debugging environment that lets you consume any .NET Framework API from it (EventLogs, Perf Counters, Data Access, etc). So the language you choose is really a "lifestyle" choice -- whatever you feel most comfortable and productive with.
C#, as noted in Scott's comment above, is Microsoft's new Java-like language that can be used to create ASP+ pages. For more information on C#, be sure to visit our C# Article Index!
For more information on language choices with ASP+ pages, be sure to check out these articles: